How to put your aged phone to new use

August 12, 2017 - photo frame

It’s time to ascent to a new phone. So what do we do with your aged one?


If you’re like me, we substantially have a drawer full of aged smartphones collecting dust. You could always trade them in for cash, nonetheless unless we have a newer Android phone or an iPhone, we substantially won’t get many for it.

What should we do? One thing is certain. Don’t usually chuck it away. According to a United Nations Environment Program news patrician “Waste Crimes,” adult to 50 million tons of electronic rubbish — especially computers and smartphones — are approaching to be dumped in 2017. Smartphones are full of metals, minerals and chemicals that when likely of in landfills or incinerated can spin toxic.

In this book of Ask Maggie we share what we like to do with my aged devices.

Dear Maggie,

Between my father and me, we have a towering of aged new smartphones.  What should we do with them all?


Trying to Stay Green

Dear Green,

If your aged phones still spin on and work, there are lots of things we can do with them. Of course, we can always give them to a crony or family member who needs a phone or even keep them around as backups in box your new phone is lost, stolen or broken. But there are copiousness of other uses for them, too. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of my favorites, many of that we use during home.

For some-more ideas of what to do with your aged dungeon phone, check out this CNET video.

8 ways to repurpose your aged phone

Getting a new phone? Put your aged iPhone or Android device to good use in one of these accessible roles.

by Chris Parker

Camera/video recorder

I don’t know about you, nonetheless we take a ton of photos and video on my phone. we don’t even know where my DSLR is anymore. we have tiny kids and juggle all their gear, so my smartphone is super easy to lift and whip out for holding photos and videos. But one place we am demure to take my phone is to a beach. And nonetheless we still wish those darling pics of a kids eating silt — er, we meant building silt castles and frolicking in a waves.  

Why not use one of those aged phones in my drawer? While my aged Samsung Galaxy S3 might not be water-resistant or sand-proof, I’d rather risk removing my aged phone wet, sandy or stolen than my code new device. And since it has Wi-Fi, when we lapse to a hotspot, all my photos and video can be automatically synced to Google Photos, usually like pics and video from a smartphone I’m now using.

Bedside device/alarm clock/photo album/white sound machine

Phones are a good bedside gadget. Just set adult a advancing hire horse and you’re good to go. First they make illusory alarm clocks. They’re forever customizable. You can set mixed alarms and even get calendar alerts to remind we of an early meeting.

Second, they’re ideal for displaying digital photos. There are tons of apps in iTunes and Google Play that spin your device into a digital print frame.

Another good use for a phone on a nightstand is as a white sound machine. Again, there are too many apps to name, nonetheless there are several giveaway apps in both a App Store and Google Play that will peace we to nap with a sound of rolling waves, whirring fans, or descending rain.  


Whether we already have an e-reader or not, transparent out all your other apps and storage on your aged phone and bucket it with e-books and audiobooks. You can possibly leave it on your night mount or subsequent to your favorite comfy chair. Apps like Amazon Kindle let we sync your reading position among mixed gadgets. You can also use apps like Pocket or Instapaper to reserve adult web articles we find around a day on your desktop or phone so we can review later.   


There are tons of ways to repurpose aged phones, so prolonged as they still spin on and off. 

James Martin/CNET

TV remote control

If your phone has an IR blaster, download a TV-remote app like AnyMote SmartRemote or Sure Universal TV Remote. These apps and a IR capability concede we to spin your aged smartphone into a concept remote. It will also work to control other inclination with an IR signal, such as DVD and Blu-ray players, wire set-top boxes, stereo apparatus and even some atmosphere conditioners.

And if your phone doesn’t have an integrated IR blaster, your phone will still be means to control your Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV inclination or connected TV around Wi-Fi.

GPS device for car

I changed to a suburbs of Philadelphia dual years ago after 17 years of vital in New York City. At first, we couldn’t find my approach out of a my neighborhood, let alone a best track to a grocery store. My phone and Google Maps were my savior. And even nonetheless we can now get to a store or my kids’ propagandize but GPS navigation, we still need it for any new destinations.

Even nonetheless we frequency leave home but my tide smartphone, we keep an comparison Moto X set adult in my automobile to use as a GPS navigation device. All that’s indispensable are some maps of my internal area downloaded onto my phone from Google Maps. And voila, my aged phone is a GPS device. It doesn’t eat adult my information devise either, since all a maps and navigation are already installed in. The usually downside is that this also means that we don’t get updated trade information or get rerouted when there’s an accident.

There are also lots of good biking trails nearby a home, so my father and we have used a “Google Maps” phone on internal trails and to time a speeds while biking. And if we wanted to, we could couple this device around Bluetooth to a aptness tracking device to guard my heart rate.

Music player

Turn your aged phone into a jukebox and party hub. If you’ve got a Sonos orator complement or some other kind of wirelessly connected sound system, use an old-fashioned smartphone as a dedicated controller. Clean out your apps and files and store all your downloaded music, or implement whatever song streaming app we cite from Spotify to iTunes to Google Play Music to emanate a executive song heart to tide song to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi speakers. You could also supplement a few internet radio, audio-book, or podcast apps to listen to whatever your heart desires on your home stereo system. The beauty of this setup is we won’t have to combat with a Bluetooth pattern on any of your other inclination in your house.

Virtual existence headset

We all know that VR is a subsequent large thing. There are several options for headsets that we insert to a smartphone to get a VR experience. But if you’re not prepared to dump several hundred bucks on a imagination VR headset, for $20 we can repurpose many comparison smartphones into a low-cost VR headset regulating Google Cardboard.

Baby monitor

Forget about spending $100 or some-more on a video baby guard when we can use one of those aged smartphones in your drawer as one. That’s right, with apps like Dormi and Baby Monitor we can renovate an aged phone into a baby monitor, streaming video and audio to your tide device.

Kid toy

If we don’t wish your toddler drooling all over your new iPhone, spin one of your aged inclination into a kid-proofed handset that can be churned out while watchful during a pediatrician’s bureau or anywhere else we need to occupy your kids. Set-up a limited form and other parental controls on a device to close down your aged phone and bucket it with kid-friendly apps and games and you’ve got party and educational apps and games during your fingertips worry free. You could even download some videos to watch offline so we can use it even when we don’t have entrance to Wi-Fi.

Emergency 911 service

Another many reduction voluptuous use of an aged phone is to chuck it in a glove dungeon of your automobile in box of an emergency. Even if we aren’t profitable for wireless use for your aged device, it can still be used to make 911 calls. So carrying another phone accessible usually in box your other smartphone goes blank while you’re on a highway could be a lifesaver. But here are a few things we should know before relying on an out-of-service dungeon phone for puncture calls. You still have to be means to get a dungeon vigilance for your phone to make a call. This means if you’re in a boondocks and out of dungeon building range, it won’t work. Also, if you’re away from a 911 user during your puncture call, there won’t be anyway for a runner to call we back.  

The bottom line

Just since we get a new faster, shinier phone, doesn’t meant your aged one should  just lay in a drawer. There are tons of ways to recycle your aged smartphone and breathe new life into that “old” gadget. Put that item to use. And for a adore of Pete, don’t toss it in a dumpster!

Ask Maggie is an recommendation mainstay that answers readers’ wireless and broadband questions. If we have a question, I’d adore to hear from you. Please send me an e-mail during maggie dot reardon during cbs dot com. And greatfully put “Ask Maggie” in a theme header. You can also follow me on Facebook on my Ask Maggie page.

It’s Complicated: This is dating in a age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to a heart of a matter.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET group reminds us because tech is cool.

small.wp_rp_excerpt { line-height:115%; font-style:normal; } .related_post_title { } ul.related_post { line-height:120%; } ul.related_post li { list-style-type:none; clear:both; margin:0 0 0 3px; } ul.related_post li a { font-weight: bold; display:block; margin:0 0 5px 0; } ul.related_post li a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } ul.related_post li A img { width:130px; height:auto; }

More frame ...

› tags: photo frame /